- Symptoms have to occur for more than six months, have to cause impairment & have to be inconsistent with what is considered normal for the stage of development.
- Symptoms have to be present before the age of 7.
- Impairment has to be observed in multiple settings (such as at home as well as at school).
Six or more of the following symptoms of inattention AND/OR
Six or more of the following symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity
-fails to give close attention or makes careless mistakes in work
-often has difficulty sustaining attention on play, work, or other activities
-seems not to listen, even when spoken to directly
-doesn’t follow through on instructions & doesn’t finish work (and is not due to being oppositional)
-has difficulty organizing tasks
-avoids/dislikes tasks that require sustained mental effort (like schoolwork or homework)
-loses things that are necessary to complete tasks or activities
-is easily distracted by extraneous stimuli (Hey, look, a chicken!)
-often fidgets or squirms in seat
-leaves seat during class or elsewhere where remaining seated is expected
-runs around or climbs at inappropriate times (adolescents & adults may feel restless, and are less likely to be observed climbing on their desks during math class)
-has difficulty playing quietly
-is usually “on the go” or described as like the infamous Energizer bunny (Okay, so the DSM doesn’t use copyrighted terminology, but that’s what they mean.)
-talks too much
-blurts out answers before the question is finished being asked
-has difficulty waiting for his/her turn
-interrupts/intrudes on others, like interrupting conversations or games
- ADHD combined type has 6 from both columns above
- ADHD predominantly inattentive type has 6 from the 1st column & less than 6 from the 2nd
- ADHD predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type has 6 from the 2nd column & less than 6 from the 1st
- You can specify “In Partial Remission” for people, particularly adults & older adolescents, who no longer meet the full criteria.